- IN SEARCH OF "THE LOST TRIBES" - BY ABRAHAM BENHUR
HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE OF WAYANAD
Wayanad is on the southern most part of the Deccan Plateau situated 900 to 2100 meters above sea level, surrounded on the East by Nilgiris of Tamilnadu and Mysore district in Karnataka. Historical ruins and excavated materials reveal the rich cultural heritage of Wayanad. The rock carvings found on the walls of Edakkal caves, Phoenician alphabets on Tomarimala caves, dolmens and urn burials around on Pathirikkunnu and Edakkal, old Hindu and Jain temples of Meenangadi, Bathery and Thirunelly speaks of an ancient civilisation. Historians are of the view that organised human life existed in Wayanad at least fifteen centuries before Christ. Countless evidence about New Stone Age civilisation can be seen on the hills of Wayanad. Anatholy Shethenko, a Russian archaeologist had excavated Krishna River Basin and found out many evidences of an ancient agrarian civilisation existed in the Deccan Plateau, a contemporary of late Harappan civilisation. Wayanad is a part of the Deccan Plateau and the ancient agrarian civilisation extended to Wayanad from Krishna- Kavery Basin by a primitive tribe known as ‘Mahishakas’ who were conquered by the Pandava hero Arjun, after the Kurukshethra war. Mahishakas were the followers of Mahishasuran from whom the names derive, ‘Mahishakam’, Mysore (the capital of the country) and later ‘Mahisha Mandalam’. Wayanad was a part of Mahisha Mandalam and Banasuran a close relative of Mahishasuran, was the king of Wayan ad and an elected Ruler of Mahishakam as a whole. Banasura hills of Wayanad proclaim the immortal name of the legendary hero Banasuran.